Essex

Asco: Grime artist jailed for 'county lines' drug dealing

Asfa Allen, aka Asco Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Asfa Allen, aka Asco, was sentenced at Wood Green Court on Friday

A grime artist who signed a record deal with one of the world's biggest labels has been jailed for drug dealing.

Asco, real name Asfa Allen, 32, made up to £1,500 a day as the head of a gang distributing heroin and crack cocaine from London to Colchester, Essex.

Last year Allen signed a deal with Warner Bros that could have been worth up to £1m.

On Friday, he was jailed for 12-and-a-half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Wood Green Crown Court heard Allen was involved in a plot to sell drugs via "county lines" drug routes from Hackney, east London, to Cambridge and Colchester.

Allen was the head of the "Bobby line", the court heard, but prosecutor Roger Smart said that after he signed the deal with Warner Bros his physical involvement "waned" but he retained a financial interest.

"Whilst Mr Allen clearly enjoyed an increasing income from his career as a grime artist, it is submitted that he was clearly living beyond his means," said Mr Smart.

The court heard the rapper bought £19,500 worth of jewellery between July and December 2018 and complained of losing £50,000 worth of jewellery during a trip to Dubai.

Police seized designer clothing and shoes from his home in Reading and found almost £12,000 in cash at his girlfriend's home.

Judge Gregory Perrins told Allen: "You are, in my judgment, a man with a talent for music, who was beginning to make a break from criminality.

"It may well be your career has ended before you had a chance to see how far it would take you.

"However, that is no-one's fault but your own."

Five other men were convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in connection to Allen's case.

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